There’s little doubt the U.S. Supreme Court‘s decision earlier this week on the issue of patent rights was momentous. If you missed the story (it didn’t seem to get a whole lot of front-page coverage), the Supremes handed down a decision that may make it harder to get a patent as well as defend one.
The crux of the issue is whether an idea submitted for patenting passes the “obviousness” test. The court, more or less, ruled on the side of mandating that the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office be more willing to deny patent protection to something that’s less a true innovation and more an ordinary, incremental advance.
For a completely substantive review of this issue, here’s a link to The Wall Street Journal‘s Law Blog, which offers a detailed post on this topic. Look for links to the actual opinion, major news stories, and to various expert legal reviews of the decision.